Gallo’s two-run homer, his 12th long ball of the year, came in his 377th career game. With it, he passed Mark McGwire (393) as quickest player to reach 100 homers in American League history. In the Major League record books, Ryan Howard (325) and Ralph Kiner (376) are the only players to get to the century mark in fewer games.
“Three years ago, if you had told me that I’d hit 100 home runs and I’d have this record, which is whatever, I would tell you, 'You’re crazy,'” Gallo said. “I’m proud of myself for getting to this point. It’s pretty special.”
The record-setting ball left Gallo's bat at a projected 110 mph and traveled 443 feet, per Statcast, ricocheting off the bleachers in center field and bouncing into the Allegheny River. And if anyone floating down the Allegheny sees this: If you spot the ball, know that Gallo would like that one back.
“They were asking for my stuff -- batting gloves, bat and all that,” Gallo said. “And I was like, I just want the ball. But they said, ‘It’s in the river, so we can’t get it.’”
Gallo is also alone in the record books with another curious stat: He hit the century mark in home runs before reaching it in singles (93), becoming the first player in MLB history to accomplish that feat. When asked about that, he rolled his eyes in jest.
“As soon as I opened my phone, that’s what it was about, instead of being that quick to get there,” Gallo said. “But it is what it is.”
It’s also reflective of the way Gallo has always played the game: When he makes contact, it’s going a long way. Otherwise, it’s usually a strikeout or a walk. But this is nothing new for him.
“I’ve always been an anomaly. That’s why it was so hard for people to scout me,” Gallo said. “People say I’m the modern-day player, but I’ve been this way since I was 10 years old. This is how I’ve always played.”
Here’s a thought experiment: Try to compare Gallo to a player past or present. It’s not difficult to conclude that he’s is basically in a world of his own. He mentioned Adam Dunn as a common comp, but there’s no way Dunn gets around in center field like Gallo does.
“I’ve never really had a comparison to really look up to,” he said. “[I’m] just kind of starting my own category, I guess.”
Gallo is consistently growing into this one-of-a-kind type, and it’s paid off with an 1.105 OPS through 31 games this season. Rangers manager Chris Woodward said that with Gallo’s improved approach, he “doesn’t expect this to stop.”
“It’s scary for the other team,” Woodward said. “They don’t know what to do.”